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Side Effects - a box-set containing four single LPs - each on colour vinyl - crustacean 61-64
(retails at £40 in the UK)
What would happen if a record label with more time than sense asked eight bands to produce sidelong covers of tracks from the 60s/70s - either epic songs in their own right, or songs that they could use as launchpads for something....BIG?
Some of my favourite albums from that period featured a single track on one side, in fact I bought albums that were unknown to me except they included 20 minute tracks, in anticipation that i would get locked in the same groove that the band found, or swept along by the glorious excesses of several months spent in the studio with a 16/64-track tape machine running, and a producer who was paid by the hour.
Yet again, it all started with a single track; it was a version of Floyd's 'Echoes' by The Soft Bombs and I tried to persuade the band's main man Michael Padilla that i could split it over two sides of a 33rpm 7" single; but he wasn't going to fall for that; then i happened upon another group that didn't know when to stop once the tapes had started and.....18 months later, here i am with eight of them - with little in common except they're all instrumentally-led (or entirely instrumental), they all have that 'epic' quality and they're all, well, bloody long.
So, the whole thing is called 'SIDE EFFECTS', and it contains four single albums:
The Soft Bombs - Echoes (originally by Pink Floyd)
Arcade Messiah - Four Horsemen (Aphrodite's Child)
The Bevis Frond - China (Electric Sandwich)
Wreaths - Sundown (Gordon Lightfoot)
Superfjord - CTA-102 (The Byrds)
The Luck Of Eden Hall - Starship Trooper (Yes)
Julie's Haircut - Shhh/Peaceful (Miles Davis)
Sendelica - I Feel Love (Donna Summer)
- all housed in a proper, really substantial full-colour box (just to reassure anyone who reckoned the 'strange fish' slipcase was too flimsy), designed by the hugely talented Gregory Curvey, together with a fold-out 60cm square poster
The music covers progressive rock, krautrock, jazz-rock, psychedelia and many of the spaces in between (including spacerock); the tracks range from extended studio jams to highly complex modern prog rock - sometimes true to the original, sometimes taking the origins of the song as a platform to creating something very different; and there's quite a line-up of artists involved, i hope you'll agree...
- two of FdM's most popular bands (Sendelica and The Luck Of Eden Hall) - the legendary Bevis Frond - two occasional visitors to FdM Towers in Superfjord and Julie's Haircut (who contributed stunning recordings to 'Coltrane' and 'strangefish' respectively) -three new artists - The Soft Bombs and Wreaths from the USA, and Arcade Messiah (aka John Bassett) from the UK.
The Bevis Frond track appeared in a severely-edited form on the FdM 'Head Music' double LP a few years ago, but this will be the full, 23 minute+ version, while everything else is completely 'new'.
if you're not already on the Fruits de Mer mailing-list, but you'd like to be kept informed of progress on this monumental folly, please email email@example.com
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...hear the tracks.. ..buy the vinyl.. ..smell the fish...